If You Work at Roger Ailes’s Upstate Local Newspapers, He Might Have You Followed

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Fox News mastermind Roger Ailes runs a tight ship over at 1211 Avenue of the Americas. But apparently his attention to detail there (he watches every show from his office, all day long) is nothing compared to how he runs the pair of small-town newspapers he owns in Putnam County, New York. (For backstory on why he bought the papers, and how odd it is that he’s turned them into right-wing rags in such a liberal enclave, read the New Yorker’s January profile.) According to Gawker’s John Cook, Ailes had former editor John Lindsley and two reporters followed after suspecting they were bad-mouthing him during their lunch breaks. The trio would occasionally drive to another town to have lunch and take a brief break. He eventually fired them.

Cook’s account of one such incident:

This was weird, as the young Lindsley had once been extremely, even weirdly close to the Ailes family. “Indeed, in what associates describe as an exceedingly awkward moment for Lindsley, Elizabeth once joked to him that she was grooming him to replace her husband,” writes Cook. “‘When Roger dies, you’re going to have some special responsibilities around here,’” she is quoted as saying. Once, after a remote alarm sounded and cops were slow to arrive on the scene, the couple even had Lindsley enter their house and attempt to scare off a potential burglar.

Fox News reps Elizabeth Ailes call these “rambling allegations” untrue and “not even reality based.” But the eerie sense of being spied upon wasn’t limited to Lindsley and the two fired reporters. Just in case staffers at the two papers forget who is in charge, Cook reports, “the single unisex bathroom in the papers’ headquarters features portraits of Elizabeth and Roger on the walls, watching you, while you poop.”

Well, that explains those midday trips to the next town over. That office sounds absolutely sphincter-sealing!

Roger Ailes Caught Spying on the Reporters at His Small-Town Newspaper [Gawker]